People more likely to use Internet to find an attorney, survey says

May 21, 2014
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Forget the phone book, billboard or even word of mouth referrals. You’re future clients are going to find you based on searching the World Wide Web, according to a recent survey.

We live in a society that is constantly connected thanks to the Internet and expects immediate results – again, in part thanks to the Internet. It makes sense then that a survey by FindLaw.com and Thomson Reuters found that the top choice of people in need of legal representation is to use the Internet to find an attorney.

The Internet gives potential clients a great deal of information – attorney websites, service reviews and any disciplinary history. You can’t get this information from a phone book ad or a TV commercial. And it gives you that information in a very short amount of time.

And while I believe word of mouth is still a great way to find an attorney, what happens if your friend’s cousin is a highly respected family law attorney, but you need a bankruptcy attorney?

The survey found 38 percent of people polled said they would use the Internet to help them find a lawyer; 29 percent said they would ask a friend or relative. Compare those numbers to a 2005 survey, in which only 7 percent said they would use the Internet to find an attorney and a whopping 65 percent reported they would find an attorney through word of mouth. 

Only 4 percent of respondents turn to the phone book these days; 10 percent said they used the phone book to find an attorney in 2005. Today, 10 percent of people polled said they would consult with the local bar association as compared to 13 percent of people surveyed in 2005.

Law firms know that they may land a significant percentage of their clients based on the Internet – that’s why you see so many firms with jazzy Web sites complete with lawyer bios, firm news touting the awards and accomplishments of its attorneys, and blogs and legal articles. In fact, these days, it’s almost looked at as suspect if a company – law firms included – doesn’t have a website.

How much of your business is generated through the Internet? When did you start to see a shift to the Internet being a major driver of clients to your firm?
 

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  4. Additional Points: -Civility in the profession: Treating others with respect will not only move others to respect you, it will show a shared respect for the legal system we are all sworn to protect. When attorneys engage in unnecessary personal attacks, they lose the respect and favor of judges, jurors, the person being attacked, and others witnessing or reading the communication. It's not always easy to put anger aside, but if you don't, you will lose respect, credibility, cases, clients & jobs or job opportunities. -Read Rule 22 of the Admission & Discipline Rules. Capture that spirit and apply those principles in your daily work. -Strive to represent clients in a manner that communicates the importance you place on the legal matter you're privileged to handle for them. -There are good lawyers of all ages, but no one is perfect. Older lawyers can learn valuable skills from younger lawyers who tend to be more adept with new technologies that can improve work quality and speed. Older lawyers have already tackled more legal issues and worked through more of the problems encountered when representing clients on various types of legal matters. If there's mutual respect and a willingness to learn from each other, it will help make both attorneys better lawyers. -Erosion of the public trust in lawyers wears down public confidence in the rule of law. Always keep your duty to the profession in mind. -You can learn so much by asking questions & actively listening to instructions and advice from more experienced attorneys, regardless of how many years or decades you've each practiced law. Don't miss out on that chance.

  5. Agreed on 4th Amendment call - that was just bad policing that resulted in dismissal for repeat offender. What kind of parent names their boy "Kriston"?

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